I feel privileged to have been asked by beezeebooks to write this interview about Introducing Charlotte, and I would like to start by thanking Mike for this opportunity.
Since the release of my debut book Introducing Charlotte, I have been asked many questions and I will try to answer some of them here.
I first started researching alternative lifestyles after reading Fifty Shades of Grey. I was, to say the least, intrigued by the facts- or should I say the lack of facts- about BDSM. That is not a criticism. After all it is only a story, fictional, a product of someone’s imagination. Nevertheless after reading some negative reviews and thoughts on the matter, I came to realise that there was certainly room for another book within this genre. But where to start? How to start? Those were the two big questions that rolled round and round in my head.
By chance I stumbled upon a blog somewhere out there in cyber land, in which someone had written about BDSM and reconditioning of the mind and how this can help make a person become a more positive and empowered individual. That was it. Introducing Charlotte was born. The story follows Charlotte being initially introduced to a new and more positive group of people by her childhood friend Anthony, now a lawyer with his own practice. Charlotte, a mere shadow of her former self, grabs hold of the lifeline that she has been thrown with both hands, knowing that this is her chance to get her life back on track. At the same time she is blissfully unaware of her friend’s secret. Introducing Charlotte was created from the perspective of someone who is naïve in a sexual nature, or “vanilla” as it is known. Charlotte has previously only experienced very one sided sexual relationships, and thinks sex is just a two minute affair, with a drunken and over- dominant partner, taking place behind closed doors.
As Introducing Charlotte develops and Charlotte’s confidence starts to grow, her new friends start to introduce her to different aspects of their lives, being careful not to go too fast and scare her away. Without giving away any spoilers, the various scenarios in each storyline develop naturally and Charlotte starts to grow into a funny and confident individual. I really loved putting Charlotte through her paces and coming up with all the different ideas of fun for her. I basically followed the rules within The Lifestyle, the main ones being “control and respect”.
I decided to give Charlotte very little self respect and esteem to begin with, due to her past relationships, in order to show this is a life choice we all can make unless it is deliberately taken away from us. Her ideas of control, and the lack of, are misconstrued as aggressive behaviour. I wanted to show that we can change this if we want to, no matter what has happened to us in the past, and that there is hope for everyone if they take control for themselves.
I perceived Charlotte as a nurse, a care-giver, to show that anyone from any walk of life can find themselves in situations that they would not necessary go out looking for. I think it is important to demonstrate that no matter where we come from or where we think we are going, things may happen along the way which can change us. In the case of Charlotte, she lost her control and respect for herself, but little by little she rebuilds everything she has lost, through the help of her friends.
Although my own life is completely different to Charlotte’s, since writing Introducing Charlotte, I have come to look at things in my life very differently. Research into The Lifestyle has shown me why people choose to enter relationships with a clear set of rules, and how they work at those relationships to ensure that their partners have everything they desire. Taking control of what they want, and being able to discuss issues with their partners openly and calmly has much in its favour. Have I changed since writing Introducing Charlotte? Yes, I have, in ways that I didn’t think I would ever change and my confidence has grown in everything I do.
However I do think it is important to mention that I struggled at first with Charlotte coming from an abusive background, and I have tried to be empathetic but at the same time keep the issue to a minimum. Some people have asked me if Charlotte would not have had flashbacks to her past life in some of the storylines. In fact I have deliberately kept flashbacks out, as I really did not want to dwell on abuse but instead to gently steer Introducing Charlotte towards what I thought it should really be about – The Lifestyle and the practice of control and respect.
Months after writing the book, I read an interview by Jon Blue in The Guardian. Jon had reviewed the film Fifty Shades of Grey and here he explains that in some cases people from abusive backgrounds can be reconditioned using technique from The Lifestyle.
The reviews can be found here.
Why end Introducing Charlotte where I have? That’s easy to answer . Charlotte has been introduced to her new friends and to The Lifestyle, as well as introducing you the reader to her newly intimate and erotic world. It does exactly what it says on the cover. Frustrating, I know, to be left on a cliff hanger ! No need to worry- book 2 is on its way. Controlling Charlotte XX. I hope it will not disappoint!
Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who has already read and reviewed my book, if you have already reviewed your honest opinions are very important to me, so please leave a comment here. Or alternatively a review on Amazon would make my day thank you.
Introducing Charlotte X